The minimum educational requirements for someone who wants to become a fire safety officer are usually at least a high school diploma or GED. Due to the policies and procedures associated with this position, most jobs mandate that applicants complete fire sciences classes and other specifically fire-related courses. Once that is accomplished, the candidate will need to gain significant experience with a fire department, often at least three years. Individual fire departments have qualifications particular to them; however, one usually unavoidable aspect involved in learning how to become a fire safety officer is being able to successfully complete oral and written tests in order to obtain the necessary certifications.
Part of the methods incorporated in the training to become a fire safety officer is learning how to inspect commercial and industrial buildings for fire code compliance. Officers normally investigate starting points and causes for fires. They can also be called in to aid arson investigations.
Another significant step in the process of how to become a fire safety officer is educating the general public about fire safety. In order to do this effectively, he or she will be expected to develop educational material appropriate for all ages. As part of becoming a fire safety officer, the candidate should gain experience speaking in front of a group because much of the job is spent giving presentations at community organizations, schools, and to the general public.
A fire safety officer should be able to competently and professionally answer questions relating to fire safety and prevention. As part of his or her training, an officer will need to participate in educational seminars so that he or she can learn how to give them in the future. Group presentations are one method of communication officers will be required to know; another is how to best correspond with construction project engineers, architects, and contractors regarding fire code requirements. This type of communication is often done via meticulous written reports regarding safety inspections and investigations.
Education on how to become a fire safety officer will likely include instruction on reading and understanding building documentation and blueprints for all types of buildings, including single-family homes, office complexes, and high-rise apartments. These skills and abilities will be necessary when performing fire safety compliance inspections. Fire safety officers are expected to have the knowledge and capability to perceive violations and discrepancies with electrical safety regulations and fire safety codes in a variety of buildings. Once a person becomes a fire safety officer, his or her duties will also extend to the issuing of fire suppression, sprinkler, and alarm systems' compliance permits.